Seriously, WHY Do People Consider The Star Wars Prequels to be Horrendous?

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LaughingAtlas:
Personally, I mostly liked the prequels, (except for the second one) worts and all, and I while I can certainly understand why most people don't, here's another way to remember them: The movies as a D&D campaign in web comic form.
It's entirely possible you'll end up liking Jar-Jar, or at least his player.

I made it to your post and I have not read any further. The Darths & Droids series is one of the funniest things I have read in years! Thanks for posting it.

OT: George Lucas is a bad writer. He did not plan his original trilogy out but largely made it up as he went. He did the same with the prequels, only to have much worse results since he had to fit in the originals' plot points.

He is also notorious for being an absent director. People who criticize all the actors should know that Lucas orders his actors to tone down their emoting all the time. He is also notorious for giving very little direction beyond his trademarked phrase "faster and more intense".

RJ 17:

Flamezdudes:
inb4 red letter media review.

I'l just post this here before anyone else to save trouble.

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-1-the-phantom-menace/

And just like with Bob's review, I'll simply say "This video aside..." :P

Please try again my friend.

I'm sorry, but you can't do that. You can't ask why people don't like something and then say their reasons don't count.

elvor0:
While your point on the size of the empire leading to a sizable amount of Jedi being available etc etc makes perfect sense and works very well, the prequels are set only 20 years before the Originals. Given the amount of Jedi that were kicking around, in government, fought huge battles, and in the prequels don't exactly seem secretive(not in the Harry Potter sense at least), the amount of scepticism about the force and Jedi, that exists within the Originals makes it all seems very poorly thought out.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but I mean it would be like me questioning whether Vietnam happened. 20 years ago, there were an entire order of Jedi across the entire Republic, ruled the way it was in the Prequel, then there was a galaxy spanning Coup d'état, resulting in the deaths of almost all the Jedi, the government being otherthrown and what are Nazis by any other name now in charge. There ARE going to be people around who remember what it was like, who lived through it and it would still be very fresh in peoples minds. Yet in the Originals it's mostly presented as having always been that way, or at least for a long time. If Jedi are presented mythically in the originals, more than 20 years is going to have needed to pass before they would even begin to gain that status.

True. That does make things seem more than a little odd. The Expanded Universe, at the very least, tried to explain it via the Empire providing no small amount of anti-Jedi propoganda and officially sanctioned historical revisionism, actively discouraging belief in the Force while simultaneously fostering resentment towards the Jedi Order. Oddly enough, this almost works, given that those we see explicitly show their disbelief aren't terribly much older than Luke, meaning they'd be expected to have grown up in that environment. On the flip side, such open disbelief is actually fairly rare in the original trilogy (Off the top of my head, I can only recall Han and Officer Motti (whom Vader choked for his insolence) be openly contemptuous of the concept). Point of fact, the Rebel Alliance had a bit of a tendency to use the phrase "May the Force be with you", implying that belief in the Force wasn't exactly out of practice.

ThePS1Fan:

RJ 17:

Flamezdudes:
inb4 red letter media review.

I'l just post this here before anyone else to save trouble.

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-1-the-phantom-menace/

And just like with Bob's review, I'll simply say "This video aside..." :P

Please try again my friend.

I'm sorry, but you can't do that. You can't ask why people don't like something and then say their reasons don't count.

What he is asking is stating your own opinions instead of "uuuhhh, well, heres this video".

Honestly, the trilogy is done, time to stop whining, it won't make the prequels go away.

Can I get in on this? A lot of topics have already been covered, such as the role of hero and villains in the trilogies,and poor characters and characterisation. But I want to mention aesthetics. The original trilogy was quite sterile and had very clean lines. It was almost modern, and quite functional and understated. Personally I think this fits with our 'apple-chic' present and view of the future. It was simple, bold and allowed for effective contrasts.

On the other hand the prequel trilogy was much busier, and over bright to the point of distraction. It was how I imagine people in the 70's would have imagined the future (ironically). As a result it's unfocused and overblown. One element of this exaggeration of visuals are giant monsters and the like in the prequels, which I think detracts from the human element of the story.

MrPeanut:

What he is asking is stating your own opinions instead of "uuuhhh, well, heres this video".

Which, apparently, is a bad thing on the internet.

Because they are horrible.

They are made very cheaply, outside of special effect budgets.

Just remove every single action scene and watch ONLY the dialog scenes, watch them all back to back. You'll notice a few patterns. Short-reverse-shot camera angles, and sitting. Thats the entire movie.

The logic of the films is lacking within the universe thats been established. Why doesn't Qui-Gon trade the credits to someone who might have use for them (like a trade runner, or smuggler) to get the money needed to pay Wotto? Or better yet, TRADE his broken ship (that he bet anyway) for a WORKING ONE! How does he know Wotto is the only one with the part? He just takes his word for it?! OMFG MY BRAIN EXPLODE!

Thats just 1 scene.

Anyway, its not just bad scifi (and it is), its a bad series of movies overall. They are poorly constructed films made by a bad director that happened to get really lucky with Star Wars (EP:4) and American Graffiti. Lucas is a hack. Even Red Tails has a poorly made film.

MrPeanut:

What he is asking is stating your own opinions instead of "uuuhhh, well, heres this video".

I assume the Video explains it better than he can...and is entertaining

Honestly, the trilogy is done, time to stop whining, it won't make the prequels go away.

....what?

he asked WHY they were considered bad and people told him...just because the matter is said and done it doesnt mean the reasons why the prequels are bad go away

They were flimsy films created to strengthen a marketing empire and little else.

The tale of Lucas is ironically also the tale of Darth Vader: A passionate, capable and somewhat heroic youth is drawn down the path of oppression by fear of inadequacy and the desire for power.

And this is coming from a youth who once loved the prequels simply because I was in the generation they were marketed too, here we are years later and the spell is broken, I can see how shallow those films were and what a slap in the face they were to long time fans (Mostly because the originals are actually good films, pulpy, but good).

Mind you I now feel that Bioware's original Knights of the Old Republic (based on a comic series which I'll really have to read at some point) is the high point of that series, possibly even topped by KotOR II (at least... the restored edition, fucking Lucas again...), however even that has been ruined by the Empire (of marketing) with tOR, which while good in many ways, like the prequels it just totally lacks the soul of the originals and is clearly designed more to get your money than for the sake of art/fun.

Zachary Amaranth:

The bad ending is a big part of the problem to a lot of OT fans. I mean, we already know he falls, so there has to be some reason to care about the prequels. But Anakin is completely unsympathetic through the entire prequel trilogy.

I don't know. Throughout the 3rd movie, I was constantly repeating to myself 'please don't get mad and purge the entire Jedi order'. Hayden managed to get some emotion out of it but not as much as he could have. Anakin was not COMPLETELY unsympathetic (I mean, I got that he didn't join the dark side willingly) but other than that, I am pretty much where you are.

I just reckon George Lucas at some point stopped being a filmmaker and became a businessman. The prequels come off like a glossy reflective product with no heart or soul in them; the originals feel real, and deal with emotions. Also, giving George Lucas complete creative control was silly. Filmmaking needs to be collaborative.

Honestly, the Red Letter Media review will tell you why the film is bad. I don't like it because it is bad.

...that's an odd sentence.

I liked a lot of the bits and pieces, and I definitely enjoyed seeing more of the setting. Seriously, most of the original trilogy takes place on these backwater, remote planets (that consequently became way more important that they initially were in the EU because of their appearance in the movies). Basically, I liked the aesthetic more than anything else.

Because everyone is blinded by nostalgia, the originals aren't very good. Good for their time I guess but not anymore, the prequels are just as good.

DalekJaas:
Because everyone is blinded by nostalgia, the originals aren't very good. Good for their time I guess but not anymore, the prequels are just as good.

wrong

I saw "a new hope" back in 09 for the first time and I thorught it was friggen awsome

the prequels...not so much

I fucking liked the original trilogy. I like all the movies. Yes, Jar jar sucks, but I was 11 when the phantom menace came out. Back then, he was pretty hilarious. Yes, the love scenes were forced and weird. But R2-D2 was the same old R2 (maybe better), Obi-wan got some background, and the clone army was awesome. I honestly think all the spinoff of the prequel trilogy beats the spinoff of the original trilogy, although that's just my opinion.

So OP, not all of us hate them. I like 'em. I can understand why people don't, but come on, it's more Star wars. I'd rather have what we got than just the 3 original movies.

katsabas:

I don't know. Throughout the 3rd movie, I was constantly repeating to myself 'please don't get mad and purge the entire Jedi order'. Hayden managed to get some emotion out of it but not as much as he could have. Anakin was not COMPLETELY unsympathetic (I mean, I got that he didn't join the dark side willingly) but other than that, I am pretty much where you are.

Anakin's departure to the Dark Side was largely governed by fridge logic, though. Combined with a wooden performance and even more wooden dialogue....

Episode 3 was the one I liked the most, but even at his best, Hayden was pretty bad.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Also, giving George Lucas complete creative control was silly. Filmmaking needs to be collaborative.

.

I dont know about that......

I think in any medium it can eather be a really really GOOD thing or a really really BAD thing

Mycroft Holmes:

Lucas is an idiot who got hugely lucky and landed a series of projects with a lot of people more talented than him, that were willing to tell him to shut up on all his bad ideas.

true...I think thats part of the reason no one really cares about the Burton/Depp duo anymore

I dont see whats so bad about the original Idea for C3PO though....I mean I'd argue its as much execution as it is concept

RJ 17:

Was it completely doomed from the start due to nostalgia for the first trilogy? Did those movies capture our hearts and imaginations as children and thus ensure that absolutely nothing could live up to that magic since NOTHING is after as good as it was for a child once that child becomes an adult (except the first Land Before Time movie...that is still a fantastic coming of age movie and no one will ever convince me otherwise :P).

No.

Red letter media explains why it actually sucks very well, and explains why the originals were good.

So no, it was not nostalgia it was a better made movie.

The project was doomed from the start because people had inflated opinions of Lucas, and Lucas had an inflated opinion of himself. The problem is that George Lucas was never good to begin with. His script was heavily edited by other people. Other directors did most of the work directing. The studio producing it told him to fuck off when he had bad ideas. And pretty much everyone working on the project went out of their way to ignore him. Harrison Ford ad libed lines because George Lucas wrote bad ones. An actor was offered money to play the part of c3p0 as an "oily snake salesman character" and refused to job and the money, telling Lucas to hire another guy and make the part into the C3P0 in the finished movie.

Lucas is an idiot who got hugely lucky and landed a series of projects with a lot of people more talented than him, that were willing to tell him to shut up on all his bad ideas.

Zachary Amaranth:

Anakin's departure to the Dark Side was largely governed by fridge logic, though. Combined with a wooden performance and even more wooden dialogue....

Episode 3 was the one I liked the most, but even at his best, Hayden was pretty bad.

Yeah, that whole 'our baby is a blessing' scene is pretty hard to forget.

Vault101:

Honestly, the trilogy is done, time to stop whining, it won't make the prequels go away.

....what?

he asked WHY they were considered bad and people told him...just because the matter is said and done it doesnt mean the reasons why the prequels are bad go away

No, I meant in general, I swear, every time star wars is discussed, even if it's completely unrelated Expanded Universe content, it always comes back to whining about prequels.

Granted it's not for this topic but I just kinda let it out.

Many individual ingredients are great in the prequels, Obi-Wan, the Jedi temple, podracing, the aesthetics, Darth Maul, Count Dooku, the sith in general and several of the events.

But then you get the bad dialogue, the bad acting in a couple of vital places and the pointless stuff, a poorly written romance, Jar Jar. They spoil the thing.

For me This:

image

Phantom Mencace gets a whole lot better when Darth Maul appears.

But then we're back to the kid again.

Where to start...

Jarjar Binks. Hate him, pointless piece of crap that just serves to create a plotpoint (that on its own was stupid, how the fuck did they not find his race with their advanced scanners and technology?)

Now serious:

It is ridden with plotholes and stupidity. The first movie alone: I don't care about trading taxes and disputes so why are they more important for the jedi council that slavery and war?
Qui Gon and Obi Wan should have never survived the opening scene when they are gassed in that room. Jedis are known for superhuman feats and endurance, any fucker with two braincells would've let them *boil* for ~30 minutes and then blast that room with explosives from the outside.
Why do they even attack them? "Sorry, we don't want to talk with you. Please leave." and they are gone.
There are hundreds of such plotpoints. That the jedi council ignored a planet of slavery. That they ignored that they have the ressources to buy the mother of the prodigy free (hey, it is not like it could've led to something bad that he was seperated from his mother who was treated like property for the most part of her life...) because it has jack to do with trading taxes. That Qui Gon is somehow not opposed of tricking a trader into ruin by making him accept worthless currency but stealing is a no-no. That no one comes to the idea of selling their flashy fancy spaceship full of perfectly fine parts and buying a cheaper one / hiring a smuggler to get them away (less suspicious).

Now I go to my big gripes: The swordfights and midichlorians.

Swordfights: They are just spectacle. They have no emotion, no meaning, they are just "because lightswords". In the originals the swordfights did have to have a meaning due to lack of decent technology to create spectacle. The fight between Vader and Obi Wan where Obi Wan 'surrenders' with the words that Vader can't surpass him (as a point for Lukes characterdevelopment), the first encouter of Luke and Vader where it is shown that Vader pretty much just fucks around with him and drives him into a corner to deliver the final, iconic line and finally the last battle where Luke finally manages to surpass Vader. The last battle especially where Luke falls into a rage and starts whacking on Vader, 'without' choreography and style, he just whacks the shit out of him until the realisation that this path leads to nowhere, leaves him alive and proclaimes that he reached the mind state of a Jedi. Every of those scenes had more meaning and emotions than the cold, soulless choreography dances where every emotion is delivered in pauses of fighting. It is spectacle meant to blind from the fact that taken on its own, ignoring the style there is nothing in those fights.

And midichlorians... Oh boy. Just to be on the same side, I watched the prequels first. As a kid I liked them until I started putting actual thought into movies.
Midichlorians took away the mystery of the force. Your skill and final result of training is determined by your midichlorian count. Now being a space magic knight has nothing to do with a state of mind - Giving in the extreme spectrums of emotions or controlling them (Sith / Jedi), you can't train your mind to become a Jedi, you are born one or you can sack it. Now it is not a fantasy scifi that is above mediocre, now it is just a shitty scifi series.

And finally: If you like the movies: Good for you. I won't judge you because tastes and preferences are different. You may see the things otherwise in terms of my biggest gripes and that is a-okay. I also won't pretend that the originals were not ridden with plotholes so most of my rant was again just my personal preference.

I just can't enjoy thoughtless movies that basically kill all the mystery that made other movies of the same series so interesting to me. I can ignore plotholes and annoying characters (Ewoks... C3P0) as long as the overarching idea is interesting. The prequels destroyed everything interesting about Star Wars for me, now all I have are the only two decent Star Wars games (Jedi Outcast 2 and Jedi Academy) due to their swordfight mechanics...

Flamezdudes:
inb4 red letter media review.

I'l just post this here before anyone else to save trouble.

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-1-the-phantom-menace/

Beat me to it.

OP: Go watch Plinkett's reviews for the other two prequels.

Vault101:

Andy of Comix Inc:
Also, giving George Lucas complete creative control was silly. Filmmaking needs to be collaborative.

.

I dont know about that......

I think in any medium it can eather be a really really GOOD thing or a really really BAD thing

It really depends on who the creator is. If it's Stanley Kubrick, P.T. Anderson, or the Coen Brothers, sure.

But Lucas? Uh uh. That guy needs to be gaged and just let other talented people make use his special effects studio.

Daystar Clarion:
Because they are horrendous?

'I had a dream about my wife dying and a Sith Lord told me he could save her, so I choose to ignore years of Jedi training to trust a Sith Lord even though said Jedi training would have involved me learning that Sith Lords are not to be trusted.

Also, I'll just go an kill all the young padawans for reasons.'

The writing is fucking awful.

What are you talking about, the writing's amazing, with gems like this "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything's soft... and smooth..."

My main reason is it didn't live up to it's potential as a star wars prequel. Terrible writing, over reliance on CGI, lackluster characters lots of reasons, it was just disappointing.

There are issues. The level at which those issues affected your opinion of the movie depends entirely of how highly you regard the original, but:
1- They tried to change the genre of the series, from space opera adventure to science fiction. That is the reason why most people hated midiclorians.
2- They overused the green screen, to the point where everything looks fake. Interior shots, exteriors, conversations, monologues, characters, vehicles, fights, everything was shot in green screens. In some cases in understandable, but in others is overkill. If you could see them without the effects, all you could see 99% of the time would be people on wires mimicking in front of green walls. Speaking of which:
3- Acting is uneven at best and atrocious at worst. Some actors like young Anakin can't act, and others stumbled a lot with the asinine dialogue Lucas throw at them. Which reminds me:
4- Lucas can be a fairly good director, but he is lousy as a writer. Most of the dialogue comes out unnatural and awkward, and potentially emotional scenes come out as laughable. Which reminds me:
5- The love scenes... god! The love scenes. They are among the worst love scenes I have seen in my life. There are better scenes in any J-Lo flick, or Twilight. Two bricks have more chemistry than those two; and the scene when they are rolling in the field almost makes me puke. But the worst part is:
6- Its a movie made by marketers, which is worst than a movie made by concensus or a movie made by executives. There are entire sections, characters, lines or scenes that where there just to sell toys of it. Do you know why Jar Jar Binks appears in all the sequels, despite everyone hating him? Because Lucas saw that small kids responded positively to it. Do you know why there are 30 minutes of race in the first one that looks nice but leads nowhere? Because they wanted to sell you the toys (there are even videogames out of that single section). Did you see that small robot Anakin chooses to stand on the lava instead of, I don't know, a rock? Or the dozens Jedis that fight in the giant coliseum, which are not even named? Or each of the different creatures and vehicles? There are toys of those too, each sold separately.

I dunno.

The least favorite one of the whole saga for me was Attack of the clones and that was because of the love story (which, because of my age of 14, wasn't as interesting as the battles).

Else I think the prequel trilogy are as good as the original.

This could of cause be because of my universal rejection of the concept of plotholes (if it isn't explained onscreen it's an interesting question waiting to be answered by you).

Oh look, this thread again.

Seriously, go fucking watch all three Redlettermedia reviews. If you still have questions after that, then we can discuss. I understand that is quite a time commitment to ask, but if you sat through all three movies at some point to have an opinion, this will take less time. Besides, they are entertaining as all hell.

I know you said you didn't want to count them in the discussion, but they are the basics of discussing the prequels. They dive into the things that affect the feel of a movie that audiences can't necessarily point out without an education in directing and movie making. None the less, those things still can sour how an audience feels about the movie, even if they can't put words to it. Jar Jar is a perfect example of that. People HATE Jar Jar, and yet he's just a figurehead for what is wrong with the movies, because he's far more tangible than the simple angle/reverse angle camera work. Jar Jar is, unfortunately, one of the least flawed things about the prequels.

I think it boils down to: would they have been worth the time if they had not been Star Wars films? No. They are poor films that only made any amount of money due to brand recognition.

Would they have been better had they not been Star Wars films? No, but they wouldn't be hated nearly as much.

EDIT: Also obligatory Plinkett references:

You have to really watch these movies again to realise just how bad they were.

Seriously, I watched about 3 minutes of the 3rd movie last weekend, just caught the bit with the Chewies doing the Tarzan call, and the ''Wild Bantha chase'' quote. That's enough, right there in the space of 3 minutes, I have enough to hate all 3 movies... and that's scratching the surface.

George Lucus got lazy. Seriously - anyone who's seen the Star Wars exhibition stuff, like the models from all the movies. The prequels used these shoddy, vague models then CGI'd everything to death. It looks pathetic. But then if you look at the models from the old movies, like the Falcon, Leia on her flying bike thing, the big wedge ships - the models are all immensely fricken cool. Imaculate detail on some of it, at least the models that have been protected, put in glass cabinets etc. Now the models from the prequels, cotton buds for people, old airfix kids, pod racers made from scrap.

I guess what I'm saying is, we never needed Yoda to be an acrobat, we never needed big shiny space ships, because Star Wars 4-6 is a visual treat, it's gritty and realistic and no amount of Lucus fuckery will change that. He got it right first time, then phoned it in when it counted.

In fact, the only movie I've ever seen where I thought the CGI was even good, is Nick Cage's Knowing. Watch the scene on the bridge with the plane crash, it's absolutely stunning work, the best example of CGI, ever, in my opinion at least. Why Lucus with his effects company couldn't do a decent job I'll never know - neither will he, because he's a fucktard who thinks he can rewrite our childhoods.

Here's the thing, yes the prequels work on a "eh, they're mediocre/not great but fun level." The problem is that if you dig into them even a little they start to fall apart on so many levels.

It's really stupid things too, even basic plot issues. Like for example, why did the droid army land on the opposite side of Naboo? It's already established that Naboo has practically no military to speak of. They have bloody spaceships, they could have landed right next to the capitol. The only reason for this is that the writers backed themselves into a corner of needing to get the jedi to meet the Gungan and travel through the center of a planet.

These things litter the whole prequel trilogy, and once you start to notice them it takes it's toll.

Because the whole feel and look of the movies, everything looks more advanced instead of less, especially the forcefield gunbots and evil spaceNinja's wielding twohanded lightsabers.

JarJar Binks.

Daystar Clarion:
Because they are horrendous?

'I had a dream about my wife dying and a Sith Lord told me he could save her, so I choose to ignore years of Jedi training to trust a Sith Lord even though said Jedi training would have involved me learning that Sith Lords are not to be trusted.

Also, I'll just go an kill all the young padawans for reasons.'

The writing is fucking awful.

Well, he did have a dream about his mother dying who subsequently did and to my memory he didn't know that Palpatine was a Sith Lord until Windu tried to take him down at which point he was probably just freaking out.

The Jedi were being assholes towards him too, in his opinion, by not making him a master... Or something.

I had little issues with EP:1 it was ok without being good. The second was horrible mostly because of Anikin & Padme failed in every conceivable way. But Obi-Wan was awesome. The third movie was actually the best of the three. The darker tone of the movie & the two epic fights compensated for the fact that it was very difficult to care about any one the characters

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